WV Teachers Strike Victorious

By Free Radicalimages

On Tuesday, West Virginia governor Jim Justice announced he would approve a 5 percent pay increase for all of the state’s school employees and a 3 percent hike for all other state workers. His concession effectively ended a four day teacher strike that closed all West Virginia public schools since Thursday February 22.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee responded to the tentative deal saying “We are taking this deal in good faith.” However it still needs to be approved by the state legislature causing Lee to warn “We reserve the right — we may have to call our people back out again.”

After a “cool down” period on Wednesday, teachers will return to class on Thursday.

The immediate spark that caused the strike occurred on February 21 when Justice approved a more moderate raise of 2 percent followed by 1 percent increases for the following two years. Justice’s legislation also did not address the rising costs of health care for employees which teachers are still very concerned about. The governor announced he would convene a task force to determine health care resolutions but has not made any promises.

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